In this brave new world of "alternative facts", in which our illegimate "leader" lies 70% of the time (*Politicact *FactCheck.Org), it is easy to get confused; in fact, I think it is part of his plan for us. If he has the capacity to plan.
I feel even more compelled to find honesty in everything - my friends, my family, and yes, the work I do with people in fitness and nutrition.
There are falsehoods and confusion everywhere; this is not new, but it is magnified.
As a fitness professional and physical therapist for more than two decades, I feel like I have seen and heard it all - the good, the bad and the ugly - when it comes to what it takes to get ones body looking, feeling and functioning at its best. There is SO much confusion among the general public (and trainers, too) as to what it takes to reach ones personal best in the most efficient ways.
A lot of this confusion stems from the myriad myths that are everywhere - in the media, in late-night infomercials, in gyms all across America. "Take this pill and it will melt the fat off your midsection" "Try this exercise and build muscle overnight" "Use this machine and develop ripped abs in ten minutes a day"
The companies and people that market these products are very effective.... at taking your money. This is an $80 Billion industry that is built largely on fraud and misinformation. Alas, there is no "magic pill" that will suck the fat out of your stomach. Fortunately, the REAL solution is actually very simple (not to say "easy") - Absolutely anyone can develop a body they are happy with once they understand how to strip away the myths and get to the truth.
I'm going to write about the myths and falsehoods more than usual in the coming year. It is maybe another small way to Resist.
This week, I write about the big falsehood that our government told us for decades - Fats are unhealthy and cause cardiovascular problems, cholesterol problems, and they make you fat.
Here's the truth: FATS DON'T MAKE YOU FAT. Sugars do; and the simple carbohydrates that your body treats like sugars.
Obesity in America
This information comes as a huge surprise to most people. The obesity epidemic began in the 1950s with the increased use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and accelerated in the 1980s with our government scientist’s VERY strong recommendation of low-fat diets. The real problems began with a Senate committee which in 1977 recommended lower fat diets and more so when the National Institute of Health (NIH) made the same recommendations. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on studies of this, none of which proved that dietary fats made humans fatter, nor that they adversely affect our health.
But, with all of this focus on eating a low-fat diet, the food companies went into overdrive to replace the flavor of the fat with other things so that their products would still taste good. Welcome to the world of trans-fats (the enemy of every cell in your body) and HFCS (which is like sugar on steroids). It was not a good trade-off; quite the contrary.
Those food pyramids that were put out for decades by the NIH and FDA, with which everyone older than 30 is familiar, had it backward and upside down.
Recently, in 2014, Time Magazine had this cover:
Yes. Eat butter.
It is not, I repeat, not, fats that cause obesity and myriad other problems, including heart disease. Rather, it is the triglycerides that we get from eating sugar (especially fructose) and refined carbohydrates. And trans-fats (aka hydrogenated fats)
Finally, some sense. For two decades, since I began working with people, I’ve been practically screaming about how people have been misled. Its very hard for a guy like me to make an argument against government scientists. But for decades they were wrong about this. Fortunately, my clients had the right information.
And the result of this failure on a national scale: 35% of Americans are obese (20% or more above the normal parameters) and a full 75% are overweight. FATS DON’T MAKE YOU FAT. I’m being repetitive because, as I said, so many people find it hard to believe because they’ve been misled for so long.
Greg Rothman, MS PT, is a fitness professional, writer and the owner of Empower Fitness in NYC. He received his Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from Columbia University and has twenty years of experience in the fitness and rehabilitation fields. He believes that absolutely anyone can have the body of their dreams once they understand how to eat and exercise in a way that supports their goals. It is his mission to Empower as many people as possible to do just that. His “Recession-Proof” Fitness Programs are an affordable way to find dramatic physical change over the course of 10 weeks. Greg is happy to hear from you if you have questions about any topic related to fitness or nutrition, and can be found at www.GetEmpoweredFitness.com.